(Arlington, va.) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) congratulated Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) in Illinois and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) in Virginia on being named 2014 Wind Cooperatives of the Year by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The annual award recognizes cooperatives that demonstrate outstanding leadership in advancing wind power in the United States. While cooperatives generate 6 percent of the nation’s power supply, they are responsible for 9 percent of the nation’s wind capacity.
The 13th annual awards, presented at NRECA’s TechAdvantage Expo and Conference, honored Glen Allen, Virginia-based ODEC in the generation and transmission cooperative category and RECC for wind development by a distribution cooperative. The award selections were made by a panel of wind industry, utility, government, national laboratory and cooperative experts.
“Congratulations to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative for your leadership,” said NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson. “Electric cooperatives depend on a diverse fuel supply and wind increasingly plays an important role in a co-op’s resource portfolio,”
ODEC added four separate wind power contracts totaling 260 megawatts to its existing portfolio. As a wholesale power supply cooperative, generates and procures power to serve the requirements of its eleven member retail cooperatives in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
The ODEC project marked a major milestone for the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO), as the co-op’s Stony Creek Wind Farm contract was the first renewable energy resource purchase facilitated by NRCO on behalf of participating members.
RECC, a distribution co-op serving 5,700 consumer-members in five counties, conducted a review of potential wind generation sites and found a small parcel of land that showed higher wind speed than the surrounding land at an abandoned mine. The mine’s coal tailings, or “gob,” looms 60 feet over the adjacent fields, catching more wind currents and making it an ideal location for a large wind turbine. All of the electricity generated by the 900-kW “GobNob” turbine goes to co-op members.
For more information on DOE’s Wind Powering America outreach and stakeholder engagement initiative, visit windpoweringamerica.gov.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.